As we enter June and the global celebrations of LGBTQ+ Pride Month kick-off, I can’t help but appreciate the power behind this word. From the outside and for me, this word represents so much inner strength and strength in community. And I know that I am one step removed from the real suffering. There is so much fear, hatred, confusion, and oppression. This week, I explore how common humanity and acknowledging fear, can build resilience and compassion.
Pride month is all about how we; “recognize the impact that LGBTQ+ people have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally.” - ABC News
Hatred in the world causes so much pain. My heart breaks when I think about humans fear other humans, just for our differences. Fear is at the crux of bigotry. Fear of what we don’t understand. Fear of what makes us uncomfortable. Fear of brainwashing.
But these fears are not reality. Fear is a thought or a series of thoughts, not facts. And fear is a form of suffering, right? And when we notice our fear and face it, we find relief. This is an act of compassion, and I believe is the answer to eliminating hate. If this resonates, I challenge you to face your fear and see where it leads you.
I love celebrating Pride and have joined many celebrations over the years. What I admire most about Pride is that I always feel accepted. I am always welcomed with open arms and hearts. Nobody is afraid of me for being heterosexual. We are all just people. And I love the freedom of self-expression, without judgment.
Truth be told, we all have a lot to learn from Pride celebrations. Here’s what I have learned over the years…
- Human acceptance
- Healthy self-expression
- Love is love
- Human connection and community
- Belonging, WE ALL BELONG HERE
- Fun and freedom
There is a long history of isolation and harm directed toward the LGBTQ+ community. And there is a lot of work we still need to do in order to move forward and heal. First, we need to stop harming people for being who they are. We need to make it safe to be ourselves. We need to let go of fear-based thoughts, and this requires emotional awareness and compassion.
Remember, we all share an innate human need to belong. To be respected. To love and to be loved. When we teach children to start noticing and thinking about these basic human needs that we all share, they nurture compassion from within. When we allow them to recognize and face their fears, not overprotect or instill fear in them, this builds healthy emotional processing and resilience.
I am thankful to the Pride community for teaching me. For always accepting me. And for dedicating a full month to pay respect and to learn from those who paved the way, to celebrate community and belonging, to support self-expression, and most importantly to lead with love.